The Orion Correlation Theory (OCT) is defined by Wikipedia as the idea “that there is a correlation between the location of the three largest pyramids of the Giza pyramid complex and Orion’s Belt of the constellation Orion, and that this correlation was intended as such by the original builders of the Giza pyramid complex.”
Robert Bauval is probably best known as the original promoter of the Orion Correlation Theory (OCT), which received widespread coverage when it was outlined in The Orion Mystery  written by Bauval and Adrian Gilbert and in Keeper of Genesis  written with Graham Hancock, published two years later. Bauval first published his theory in 1989 in Discussions in Egyptology(a).
Not unexpectedly, OCT generated considerable criticism as well as support, also noted on Wikipedia(g).
However, Andrew Collins has disputed the OCT and has instead offered evidence that the alignment of the three principal Giza pyramids matches more closely the ‘wing’ stars of the Cygnus constellation than the ‘belt’ of Orion!(b)
Gary A. David has expanded on the OCT of Bauval & Gilbert identifying important sites throughout Egypt that he believes constituted a more extensive reference with other heavenly bodies in what he calls the Egyptian Stellar Template(e).
David goes further and claims that he “stumbled across an Orion Correlation that the ancestral Hopi Indians constructed in Arizona from about 1050–1300 AD. In this case, every major star in the constellation corresponds to a specific masonry village site. The terrestrial replication of the celestial pattern is simply uncanny.”(f)
However, Freddy Silva has imaginatively proposed an additional OCT – in Scotland(c). He suggested that the Pyramids of Giza, and by extension, Orion’s Belt matched the layout of the three stone circles of Stenness, Brodgar and Bookan!
February 2015 saw an even more extreme idea published by Emilio Spedicato in a paper(h) with the radical proposal that the alignment of the three main Giza pyramids was not intended to be a reflection of the three stars in Orion’s belt according to the OCT, as proposed by Gilbert and Bauval, but instead were more closely matched to the arrangement of three volcanoes on Mars! He claims that these volcanoes were visible from Earth during Mars’ periodic close encounters with our planet between 7000 BC and 700 BC, during a 54-year cycle!
(a) Discussions in Egyptology, volume 13, 1989, pp. 7-18
Robert Bauval (1948- ) was born in Egypt of Belgian and Maltese extraction. He is probably best known as the original promoter of the Orion Correlation Theory (OCT), which claims that the layout of three principal Giza pyramids mirrors ‘Orion’s Belt’ in that constellation. This received widespread coverage when it was outlined in The Orion Mystery  written by Bauval and Adrian Gilbert and in Keeper of Genesis  written with Graham Hancock, published two years later. In fact, Bauval had first published his theory in 1989 in Discussions in Egyptology(a).
Nevertheless, Andrew Collins, in a recent paper(h) has disputed Bauval’s OCT and has instead offered evidence that the alignment of the three principal Giza pyramids matches more closely the ‘wing’ stars of the Cygnus constellation than the ‘belt’ of Orion!
Greg Little in considering the Orion vs Cygnus debate concluded that “the truth is that Cygnus fits the three pyramids at Giza far better than Orion does. Does that mean that Cygnus is correct? No, not really. It means that there is a lot more investigation has to be done. It also means that we may never know. I’m sure that somewhere in the night sky there are three stars that can fit rather precisely onto Giza.” (I).
In 2008, Bauval published a paper(j) on the place of astrology in the ‘Sacred Sciences of the ancient Egyptians. Although this is not a popular view among Egyptologists, Bauval concluded that “it is my opinion that the ancient Egyptians practised an esoteric form of ‘religious astrology’ related to the conception and birth of their kings. It is also my opinion that this ‘religious astrology’ originated many millennia before in prehistoric times in the Eastern Sahara, as the astronomical alignments of the megaliths at Nabta Playa suggest. If this is true, then the stellar observations that originated in the Western Desert of Egypt some time between 8000 – 5000 BC events on earth lie at the root of ‘Astrology’.”
Bauval and Thomas G. Brophy co-authored two books, Black Genesis: The Prehistoric Origins of Ancient Egypt [1508B] and Imhotep the African , in which they trace the origins of pharaonic Egypt back to a time before the Sahara became a desert and when dark-skinned people created the Nabta Playa megaliths. When the climate changed these people were forced to move eastward into the Nile Valley developing what we now call Ancient Egypt.
In 2019 a paper(k) by Larry Pahl, looked again at the Orion Correlation Theory and concluded that Bauval should not have confined his theory to Orion’s ‘belt’, but looked at the entire constellation and sought a more extensive reflection on the monuments of ancient Egypt. Prahl then proceeds to do exactly that.
Similarly, Jean-Pierre Lacroix claimed that other Egyptian structures may have been located to reflect the layout of other constellations in the sky. Specifically, he focuses on Aries and Thebes(l).
Alessandro Berio went further with the claim(m) that the entire Nile was ‘designed’ to be a reflection of the constellations above!
Another writer, Wayne Herschel, is claimed to have reinterpreted Bauval’s Orion theory in his book The Hidden Records  and not only claims that the Giza pyramids reflect the layout of stars in Orion’s Belt, but that a similar arrangement of ‘pyramids’ in the Cydonia region of Mars is also to be found. Emilio Spedicato is another supporter of this Cydonia-Giza-Orion association(g)!
Herschel’s volume is a glossy collection of balderdash, which includes such delights as the Martians having a penal colony on Earth, as well as a promise of a sequel that will reveal “two further shocking secrets of the Sphinx.” Eventually, The Alpha Omega Taurus Star Gate was published with a new collection of balderdash. The odd idea of Earth as an alien penal colony has also been put forward by Dr Ellis Silver an American ecologist(f).
During one interview Bauval declared that “To be very honest, I am not a believer in Atlantis.”(b) However, he has no difficulty in adopting the idea of ancient astronaut visitors a la von Däniken, as revealed in Cosmic Womb , written with Chandra Wickramasinghe and reviewed by Jason Colavito(c). This conversion to the idea of ancient astronauts was seen by Len Kasten as a natural progression. In an article published in Atlantis Rising (Issue 5), Kasten noted that Bauval “didn’t start out with the extraterrestrial hypothesis, but arrived at it after a painstaking study of the Pyramid Texts, and a corresponding highly scientific astronomical study of the monuments.” [Kasten, a UFO researcher, was a regular contributor to Atlantis Rising.]
Zahi Hawass, the former Egyptian Minister of Antiquities has repeatedly clashed with Bauval, particularly in connection with the proposed Orion correlation. In April 2015, Hancock was due to engage in a debate with Hawass on the subject of their conflicting views of ancient history. However, when Hawass saw that Hancock included an image of Robert Bauval in his presentation, he refused to continue with the arranged format(d)(e) and after a lot of shouting, from Hawass, he stormed out. This sort of ‘prima donna’ behaviour, although not very professsional, is consistent with Hawass’s well-known temperamental manner.
The antipathy between Bauval and Hawass reached a new level with the publication of Breaking the Mirror of Heaven + written by Bauval and Ahmed Osman in 2012. The authors claim that “it is not merely the story of a man who dominated and controlled Egyptian antiquities for several decades as if they were his own but also the story of Egyptian archaeology itself and the way modern Egypt created such a man. These topics need to be properly reviewed, first to understand how, and why, Zahi Hawass became what he is and, second, to provide a new vision that is desperately needed to save Egyptian antiquities from decline and perhaps even total destruction.” David Rohl commented that “This is a book that needed to be written.”
In 2020, Massimo Barbetta published a review of Bauval’s OCT(n).
(a) Discussions in Egyptology, volume 13, 1989, pp. 7-18
Ian Lawton (1959- ) is an English researcher focused on ancient history and spiritual philosophy. He is probably best known as the co-author with Chris Ogilvie-Herald of Giza: The Truth , which offers a sober forensic review of all the many and widely varied theories relating to the ancient structures on the Giza Plateau.>In it, Lawton was highly critical of Robert Bauval‘s Orion Correlation Theory (OCT) both in the book (chapter 9)(d) and in open correspondence between them.<
>However, Lawton was at the receiving end of criticism from the late John Anthony West in 2000, when West published an article in Atlantis Rising magazine that ended with a scornful “The point is that the facile assurances given by Ogilvie-Herald/Lawton endorsing the orthodox view are illegitimate, their exclusion of contrary, genuinely informed opinion is typical of their selective bogus scholarship, and their long-winded acoustic levitation hypothesis is pure speculation and self-contradictory besides. We still don’t know how the pyramids were built/ Period. Full stop.”(e)<
Lawton’s second book, Genesis Unveiled , has been described as containing “remarkable new insights into the spirituality of the pre-flood human race”. Chapter 13 takes a somewhat generous view of Blavatsky and Theosophy(c).
He subsequently made changes(a) to the content and, in my opinion, opportunistically re-titled it as Atlantis: The Truth! In it Lawton has focused on prediluvian races, citing, with reservations, the work of Stephen Oppenheimer, Arysio dos Santos and Frank Joseph, which when added to Lawton’s research, he concludes that “it’s nevertheless interesting that all four of us have independently arrived at the same conclusion about the broad whereabouts of any forgotten race.” He argues that the location of such a race was in the general region of Sunda and Sahul Shelves.
(e) Atlantis Rising magazine #23 http://www.pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At *
Emilio Spedicato (1945- ) was born in Milan. He graduated in physics and is now working in numerical analysis and applied mathematics. He has held a full professorship at Bergamo University since 1984. In addition to his more conventional academic pursuits, he also researches ‘non-standard models of planetary evolution and non-standard interpretation of myth and ancient religions.’
Spedicato has developed a list(a) of ‘54 theses for reconstructing Earth and human history during the catastrophic period 9500 to 700 BC’(l). This list is partly based on the work of Velikovsky, DeGrazia and Ackerman and is intended to be the basis of a larger work in book form. Some of his ideas will be seen as highly controversial such as the genetic manipulation of humans by extraterrestrial visitors. He locates the Garden of Eden and the ‘creation’ of Adam and Eve in the Hunza valley of modern Pakistan(e).
He ventured into further controversial territory with his support for an updated version of Hörbiger’s moon capture theory(f) and endorsement for pole shifts(g) after long periods of stability following encounters with large extraterrestrial bodies. He considers the last of these to have taken place in the 10th millennium BC.
Spedicato, in a series of papers delivered to the Atlantis Conference on Melos in 2005, linked the biblical Exodus with the Flood of Deucalion, which he dates as 1447 BC(d). He contended that these events were connected with the explosion of a large extraterrestrial body over Southern Denmark remembered in Greek tradition as Phaëton.
Atlantis has not escaped Spedicato’s attention and he has put forward the Caribbean island of Hispaniola as the home of Atlantis(b), specifically suggesting that Lake Enriquillo in the Cul-de-Sac Depression, which runs from Haiti across the border into the Dominican Republic. Spedicato accepts the possibility of the destruction of Atlantis around 9600 BC and has written an interesting paper(c) that links the demise of Atlantis with a direct asteroidal impact or a close encounter with a planet-sized body. Not without significance is the fact that Hispaniola is not submerged, in spite of the sea level rising hundreds of feet since the very early date proposed by Spedicato for the destruction of Atlantis, which should have sent it even deeper beneath the waves of the Caribbean.
Furthermore, leaving aside the question of submergence altogether, Spedicato does not explain how an Atlantis in the Caribbean could, in 9600 BC, have attacked Greece or Egypt, which did not exist as structured societies at that time.
Even more intriguing is why they would plan such a venture, considering a distance of 10,000 kilometres lay between them.
Spedicato has contributed at least a dozen papers to the Migration and Diffusion website including one on a possible Indian inspiration behind the Giza pyramid complex(h) as well as a paper(i) on the planet known to the Sumerians as Nibiru and today sometimes referred to as Planet X. He controversially claims that a close encounter with Nibiru around 9500 BC ended the last Ice Age and brought about the demise of Atlantis! A difficulty with that idea, is that if the encounter with Nibiru destroyed Atlantis AND ended the Ice Age how could the location where Atlantis was submerged still be marked by mud shoals 9,000 years later when sea levels had risen by 300-400 feet, as confirmed by Plato in Timeaus 25d?
Another radical idea put forward by Spedicato was expressed in a paper delivered to the 2005 Atlantis Conference [629.411], in which he claimed that what he called ‘the ancestors of the Greeks’ had visited Canada. Based on his interpretation of excerpts from the writings of Plutarch, he specifies a region at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River as the point of contact. Manolis Koutlis goes further, suggesting that the Greeks had colonies there, from 1500 BC until 1500 AD. Then in his book In the Shadow  he adds the even more extraordinary claim that Atlantis had been situated on an island at the entrance to the St. Lawrence!
In 2010, Spedicato published Atlantide e L’Esodo (Atlantis and Exodus) which is currently being translated into English.
>In February 2015, Spedicato published another paper(j) with the radical proposal that the alignment of the three main Giza pyramids was not intended to be a reflection of the three stars in Orion’s belt according to the Orion Correlation Theory (OCT), as proposed by Gilbert & Bauval, but instead were more closely matched to the arrangement of three volcanoes on Mars! He claims that these volcanoes were visible from Earth during Mars periodic close encounters with our planet between 7000 BC and 700 BC, during a 54-year cycle. However, Andrew Collins has also disputed the OCT and has instead offered evidence that the alignment of the three principal Giza pyramids matches more closely the ‘wing’ stars of the Cygnus constellation than the ‘belt’ of Orion! (m).<
Later in 2015, the prolific Spedicato published another paper(k) in which he linked Mayan catastrophes with those of Hesiod, Plato and the Bible.
The Megalith Builders, who date mainly from the Neolithic Period, are frequently identified with Plato’s Atlanteans. Their remarkable structures were built between the middle of the fifth and second millennia B.C., a period that is compatible with the final days of Atlantis according to Plato. The building of megalithic structures in Western Europe appears to have ended just before the beginning of the Bronze Age – coincidence? Emmet Sweeney, however, contends that “the great Megalithic-building culture of Atlantic Europe and North Africa commenced around 1100 BC or perhaps a little earlier”! [700.208]
Proponents of the idea of a megalithic building in Atlantis see the location and extent of the megalithic structures as agreeing with Plato’s description, particularly his reference to Atlantis being ‘beyond the Pillars of Heracles’. However, the location of the ‘Pillars’ at the time of Solon’s visit to Egypt, is strongly disputed. In fact, the only territory unambiguously named by Plato as Atlantean was in southern Italy and North Africa along with several islands of which there are many in that region.
However, there are many features in Plato’s narrative that do not conform to our current knowledge of the megalith builders. There is no evidence that they had writing, irrigation technology or navigational skills to mount an attack on Egypt/Athens or any other characteristics ascribed to the Atlanteans by him.
On the other hand, if these attributes are just literary flesh applied to a skeleton of historical truth there is the possibility of a link between the Atlanteans and the megalith builders remaining.
Atlantis enthusiasts are quite happy to associate the megalith builders with Atlantis, as it provides something tangible to enhance the credibility of Plato’s narrative pointing to sites such as Stonehenge or the Maltese Temples. British researcher Robert John Langdon has gone further and proposed that the megalith builders originally came from Africa and settled in Doggerland at the end of the Ice Age, where they established Atlantis. When Doggerland was submerged they migrated to what is now mainland Britain, where they built Stonehenge as a memorial to Atlantis.
Megalith building in North Africa has been documented for over a century. The Hill of Graces by H.S. Cowper in 1897 concentrated on describing the megaliths in the region of Tripoli. The Mzora Stone Circle is a huge megalithic monument in Morocco and is considered to be the largest stone ellipse in the world. Further east the stone circle of Nabta Playa in Egypt had its importance further highlighted in a 2010 book by Robert Bauval & Thomas G. Brophy, Black Genesis. A 2012 illustrated paper reviews the range of megalithic monuments found across North Africa(af).
We must, of course, not omit the greatest megalithic monuments of all, namely, the Egyptian pyramids and particularly those at Giza. The apparent sophistication of their builders was greatly enhanced by the introduction of the Orion Correlation Theory (OCT) by Robert Bauval.
In a paper(at) published on Graham Hancock’s website in 2022, Freddy Silva proposed an additional OCT – in Scotland. He suggested that the Pyramids of Giza, and by extension, Orion’s Belt matched the layout of the three stone circles of Stenness, Brodgar and Bookan. In the same paper, he goes further identifying other megalithic monuments in Scotland with counterparts in Sardinia and Armenia! OCT is not without critics.
The megaliths of North Africa are not the only monuments to adorn that continent Atlantisforschung drew my attention to a number of short articles by William Corliss (al)(am)(an) highlighting what has become known as the Senegambian Complex and are now a UNESCO World Heritage site(ak).
Paul Dunbavin in his Atlantis of the West  and Towers of Atlantis  promotes the idea of a megalithic Atlantis centred off the coast of Wales in what is now the Irish Sea. In 2022 Dunbavin recorded(ao) that “In a review of the “Pathways to the Cosmos” conference held at Dublin Castle in September 2018, Liz Henty makes some perhaps surprising comments. She notes that this is the first such conference where archaeologists and archaeoastronomers have combined to broadly agree that some Neolithic monuments in Britain and Ireland were astronomically aligned(ap).
While not a new idea, a megalithic connection with Atlantis has recently been given further attention by the French writer Sylvain Tristan who was inspired by Jean Deruelle and Alan Butler. More recently, Jean-Michel Hermans, a French ethnologist, also added support for a megalithic Atlantis. Alfred deGrazia also joined this club as well as the German author Helmut Tributsch who has added his support to the idea of a megalithic Atlantis, specifically locating its capital on the island of Gavrinis in Brittany. A similar claim has been made by Hank Harrison, who also believes that the Morbihan region was an important Atlantean centre if not the location of its capital. Further support for a megalithic Atlantis has been given by Walter Schilling who places Plato’s city in the Bay of Cadiz. Robert Temple has recently offered grudging support for the concept of Atlantean megalith builders(ac).
Iberia is also home to very many megalithic structures of varying types. Recently, lower waters in a Spanish reservoir revealed once more the impressive 144-stone Dolmen-de-Guadalperal, situated roughly halfway between Madrid and the Portuguese border(z). Efforts are being made to ensure its preservation before the water levels rise again.
As far as I am aware classical writers make no obvious reference to the megalith builders, nor has this omission been commented on by modern writers. However, the numerous indirect references to Atlantis by the same ancient writers are deemed inadequate, which seems consistent with a dearth of information regarding early history.
It appears to me that other questions that have not been definitively answered relate to the identity of the megalith builders, why they stopped building and what happened to them. Another thought is that if the megalith builders lived at the same time as the Atlanteans, is it not strange that both disappeared around the same time or did they? My opinion is that we are probably confronted with two unrelated mysteries – the disappearance of the megalith builders and the demise of Atlantis.
Parallel with the megaliths of the eastern Atlantic seaboard are the megaliths of North America(ab), particularly those of New England(ag). Who built them and when? Are they evidence of very early pre-Columbian voyagers from Europe?(b) Nobody seems to have put forward the idea that megalith building might have spread from America to Europe! Is it such a wild suggestion?
Johnni Langer has published a lengthy paper on the prehistoric megaliths of South America and in particular Brazil. Generally speaking references to South American megaliths focus on Tiwanaku or Cuzco, considered to be relatively recent. However, Langer’s article has drawn attention to structures further afield in Brazil that suggest astronomical alignments(ar).
An interesting article combining all the strange aspects of megalith building can be read online(c) which certainly offers food for thought. A paper(d) published in September 2013 gives a good overview of megalithic studies during the past few decades. Walter Haug’s well-illustrated website(k) offers a range of previously ignored megalithic sites in Germany.
Much nonsense has been written about the megalith builders, particularly on the Internet, where you find daft ideas such as attributing their construction to aliens(a). The suggestion that extraterrestrials had the technology to travel in space but when they land on earth they have to build observatories with stone is just silly. Why would they even need such crude observatories if they had the technology and astronomical knowledge to travel across the cosmos?
A valuable website dealing with the global spread of megalithic monuments is The Megalithic Portal established by Andy Burnham(g), which has regular updates. Other useful sites are Stone Pages(h) and Megalithic Ireland(i). Another site worth a look at is that of Sjur C. Papazian(l). There is also a site(j) dealing specifically with the dolmens of Corsica and Sardinia.
In the Middle East dolmens stretch in a line from the Caucasus(s)(p) to Yemen with a remarkable concentration of them in modern Jordan(m), a fact which prompted a former Dutch ambassador to Jordan, Gajus Scheltema, to write Megalithic Jordan. Jordan is also home to an ancient mysterious 150 km wall, which was 1-1.5 metres high(u).
Dolmens are also found in more distant lands such as India(r), Korea(n)(v) and Japan(o). It is difficult to look at the worldwide distribution of dolmens and not consider the possibility of some form of global cultural diffusion! Rarely discussed are the widely dispersed megalithic remains found throughout the Pacific islands(q).
A remarkable theory is presented by John M Jensen Jr to explain the function of dolmens throughout the globe, namely that they were constructed to protect from attacks by dinosaurs! This suggestion is part of a paper that claims that humans and dinosaurs co-existed(ad).
Another unusual claim comes from Yair Davidiy, a Brit-Am promoter, who wrote on their website – “Dolmens and Megalithic Monuments originated in Ancient Israel. Jeremiah 31:21 says that the Lost Ten Tribes will construct a trail of Megalithic Monuments from Israel to their places of exile and evidence of this path will enable them to return. Such a trail exists! It is the Trail of the Dolmens from the Middle East to the West.”(ae) As far as I’m aware Davidy has not explained the huge numbers of dolmens in places such as Korea and Japan! Professor W.A. Liebenberg has written a longer piece(aq) on the ‘Lost Tribes’ as the builders of the megaliths. However, since the megalithic building period is generally accepted to have lasted from around 4000 BC until 1500 BC, this created a problem for Davidy and Liebenberg. The disappearance of the Lost Tribes is dated to around 700 BC leading to their dispersal and proposed megalith building as they travelled. D & L include Newgrange (3200 BC) among their monuments and that is where their difficulties begin. Both claim that before 700 BC the year was 360 days in length (after Velikovsky [037.128]) rather than our present 365 days. They argue that if Newgrange (among other monuments) had been built when we had a 360-day year the sun would not still light up the interior at the winter solstice. Therefore, they conclude that most megaliths were erected AFTER 700 BC!
There is a well-illustrated website offering an overview of the megalithic culture of Western Europe and the Mediterranean(t).
In February 2019 the Smithsonian Magazine had a report telling us that “Bettina Schulz Paulsson, an archaeologist at the University of Gothenburg, reexamined some 2,410 radiocarbon dating results that have been assigned to Europe’s megaliths and put them through a Bayesian statistical analysis. Based on the picture the data presents, Schulz Paulsson believes that the megaliths were first constructed by dwellers of northwest France during the second half of the fifth millennium BC.” (w)
Some years ago, the renowned English archaeologist, Aubrey Burl, concluded after twenty years of study that French immigrants had built Stonehenge(aa). More recently, Mike Parker Pearson, a leading Stonehenge expert, has also endorsed this idea of a French origin for megalith building(x).
Archaeologist, Robert Hensey in his insightful First Light [1766.9] has also noted that “Construction of Breton passage tombs is likely to have ended by 3900 BC, almost certainly by 3800 BC, and the most recent evidence from Ireland suggests that passage tomb construction had not yet begun on this island by that time.”
Antequera is a city in Spain’s region of Andalucia. It is home to three megalithic structures (1) the “Dolmen de Menga”, (2)the “Dolmen de Viera” and (3) the “Tholos de Romeral” of which de Menga has been described as the largest and heaviest in Spain. They are collectively designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and described by that organisation as “These three tombs, buried beneath their original earth tumuli, are one of the most remarkable architectural works of European prehistory and one of the most important examples of European Megalithism.” The limited carbon dating that has been carried out would seem to indicate that construction took place sometime in the fourth millennium BC. Richard Cassaro has visited the site and posted an interesting report with many illustrations(ai).
The interesting claims of Schulz Paulsson, who places the origins of megalithic construction in Brittany in the fifth millennium BC, may be challenged by a little-known counterclaim that tombs in the Ox Mountains in the west of Ireland have been dated to the seventh millennium BC(y). However, my personal view is that it would be more likely that the practice of megalith building would have spread from the east or south rather than from Ireland westward!
A number of megalithic sites situated around the world are reviewed on the illustrated megalithic builders website. Contributions from popular writers, such as Hancock, Bauval and Schoch are included(ah).
A rational explanation for the construction of cyclopean masonry has been offered by Professor of Architecture Jean-Pierre Protzen and demonstrated on a YouTube clip(f).
(q) https://davidpratt.info/easter1.htm (section 10)